A plan to clear land for a potential £200 million Grade A office scheme in Liverpool’s commercial district has been given the go ahead.
The proposed Pall Mall scheme will feature three office buildings, a hotel and approximately 80,200 sq ft of public space including a new green square.
Liverpool City Council’s planning committee yesterday (29 January) approved an application to remediate land to the rear of the old Exchange Station site for the 400,000 sq ft development project, led by Kier Property and CTP, despite strong objections from three ward councillors and 62 local residents.
The site to the rear of the former train station currently comprises an area of green space known as ‘Bixteth Gardens’ and part of the Pall Mall NCP car park.
Councillor Nick Small, alongside Cllrs Sharon Sullivan and Christine Banks, opposed the application on the grounds that there is limited space within the city centre and the site serves as an “oasis” for nearby apartment dwellers.
The council says a new open space, to be developed in the scheme’s first phase, would see a doubling in the number of trees and planting than currently in existence, with additional public realm incorporated into the design.
The remediation works, to be undertaken by contractor Willmott Dixon, are expected to take around eight months and are being supported by a £3.5m grant from the Local Growth Fund.
Enabling works will include a £1.25m scheme to relocate a substation on site, which will be fully operational by March 2020 to serve future development.
A planning application is expected to be submitted by Kier Property and CTP shortly which will outline a three-phase development.
Once completed, the development would result in an overall increase in the amount of public space with new pedestrian walkways and public seating to accompany a pavilion that could be used as a café or restaurant.
Ground floor space is earmarked for complementary retail or leisure units to animate the public realm.
Kier Property and CTP has appointed architectural firms Allies & Morrison and Re-Form to design the scheme.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson says: “The proposed Pall Mall scheme is of huge importance to the development of our commercial district as we need Grade A office space to attract companies and highly skilled jobs to the city.
“I’m delighted we have the green light to begin clearing the site in readiness for the next stage of this scheme which if approved will deliver a much needed high quality green square and new public realm for workers and residents to enjoy throughout the year.
“Judging by the designs it would set a new benchmark for our open spaces and help shape the wider development of the district.”
Tom Gilman, managing director of Kier Property (North), adds: “This is an important milestone for Pall Mall and Liverpool’s central business district, bringing the development one step closer.
“Liverpool City Council’s reclamation and enabling works are essential to the development of the site which will provide a new and enhanced space for those working, living and visiting the city centre.
“We have been working hard with our team, other stakeholders and vitally the local community, to progress our development plans and look forward to submitting our planning application for the first phase of development shortly.
“Our aim for the new Pall Mall scheme is for it to be a destination space in the city centre that will create new jobs and training opportunities.”